< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Galatians 4:8-11

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Galatians 4:8-11

Galatians 4:8-11Howbeit at that time, not knowing God, we were in bondage to them that by nature are no gods: but now that we have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn we back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto we desire to be in bondage over again? We observe days, and months, and seasons, and years. I am afraid of you, lest by any means I have bestowed labor upon you in vain.”

In this passage Paul is still basing his thought on the conception that the law is an elementary stage in religion. It was ok before we knew better. It had its purpose. But, now we have come to know God and the grace of God. Then Paul corrects himself, man cannot by his own efforts know God. God reveals Himself to man. We can never seek God unless He has already found us.

He mentions days, months, seasons and years. One of the features of Jewish law was its observance of special days and seasons. In this section, days are the Sabbath of each week, months are the new moons, which are special occasions. The seasons are the great annual feasts like the Passovers or the Feast of the Tabernacles. And the years are the Sabbatic years – every 7th year.

Paul says the failure of this is it divided the days into days that are sacred or not, that belong to God or not. Kind of like people who think if they go to church on Sunday they’re covered for the whole week. (That’s God’s day – the rest are mine!)

Jesus said, “I came so that you might have life.” He didn’t say, “I came so that you might have religion.” When religion is a thing of days and times and seasons – it’s an external thing. It’s legalism. For the real Christian, every day is God’s day. We shouldn’t pull God out on just certain days.

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